A Japanese esports team is proving that gaming is truly for all ages.
Just a number: Based in Akita, Matagi Snipers are Japan’s first sponsored, professional esports team made of all seniors, aged 66 to 73, according to Kotaku.
Of the 21 applicants, only eight made it through based on their aptitude for gaming, even if they’ve never played before.
Such is the case for team member Eba, 67, who said that she noticed the benefits gaming has on her cognitive abilities, hand-eye coordination, communication with her teammates and keeping her senses engaged and alert.
Two spots are also reserved for “junior” members who are 65 or younger, according to The Mainichi.
The members have been training three times a week since July and are currently gearing up for their first livestream on either YouTube or Twitch in October, according to NHK.
Like their namesake, Matagi Snipers will focus on shooting games.
Health-conscious and beyond: One of Matagi Snipers’ goals is to use esports to maintain and improve an elder’s health, prevent dementia and give them a means of impressing their grandchildren, according to its website.
The website also states that their team is the fifth professional team comprised of senior citizens. One of those spots belongs to Sweden’s Silver Snipers, who specialize in “Counter-Strike” (“CS: GO”).
In a Sept. 21 press conference, one unidentified member, who is aiming for the global stage, excitedly said, "I want to spread my wings around Japan and the world."
Another member, going by the screenname “Mr. Kita,” said, “I'm doing my best and having fun every day. I'll try hard to become the very best as a professional player.”
Beyond streaming, the team plans to compete starting April 2022.
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